How to Quit Smoking
Although every former smoker has their own unique story on how they quit smoking, there are some tried and true how to quit smoking methods that have worked well over the years. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you can always try out different methods and work your way onto telling your own “how to quit smoking story.”
*Try smoking fewer cigarettes than usual. For many smokers, holding out few hours without smoking can prove very difficult. Familiarize yourself with the sensation and understand how difficult it can be. I know what you are thinking, “Why the practice run for the suffering?” Some smokers get very panicky when they first experience a serious withdrawal symptom. It’s much like dipping your toe in the pool before jumping in. You do not want to be discouraged to a point where you can’t even imagine yourself ever quitting smoking.
*Skip the entire morning smoking session. Experience what happens when you don’t jump start your day with your nicotine fix. This is different from just holding out a few hours without smoking. You’ll try to spend an entire morning without smoking a single cigarette.
With enough patience on your part, by noon when you are about to finally light one up, you will notice a few things. First it’s the ups and downs of the craving. The withdrawal symptom is not constant and there will be long periods, a whole chunk of minutes that go by when you don’t really feel much craving. This was true for many former smokers I’ve interviewed and worked with as well. You have to try this in the morning because otherwise it’s no different from the method above. I encourage you to try this because many former smokers will attest to the fact that on your quit day, you have to make sure you start the day clean without a smoke. By the way, when you give up smoking for good, you will inevitably experience these mornings.
*For some, postponing smoking half an hour to an hour every time a craving hits works wonders. Again it’s a similar method to the two above but it’s very different in its approach. This method is used to strategically cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day but in a very gradual manner. Reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day will undoubtedly be helpful in quitting smoking. The general rule of thumb is the less you smoke per day, the less severe withdrawal symptoms you will have. Remember, if you know you are not a particularly patient person. You do not want to try this method.
*’Stop smoking aid products’ do work, you just have to work with them. There isn’t a stop smoking product that’s suitable for every smoker in the world. While a particular product may work better for Joe no.1, Joe no.2 might just do better with a different product. The recurring cost of using stop smoking products should be less than the cost of maintaining most smokers’ addiction.
That’s not even counting the fact that once you quit you no longer need to buy additional stop smoking products, but you will keep smoking as long as you are still an addict. You have to understand that stop smoking products are meant to aid you in combating nicotine addiction. They are not automatic fix-it-all products and they don’t claim to be. It’s useless unless used as intended.
So you might be wondering, “Since I do all the work, why would I even bother with these products?” The answer to that is simple. You can run miles without sneakers, but that doesn’t mean you do it. You can run faster and safer if you just put on a sneaker — so we choose to run with our sneakers on. Stop smoking aids can make smoking cessation experience anywhere from easy to tolerable for many smokers. As withdrawal symptoms can last days to even weeks, you can make the quality of your life substantially better than going cold turkey.
*Convince a buddy to quit smoking with you, anyone in your life who smoke can participate. Having a quit partner can trigger either camaraderie or competitiveness and either one can be beneficial in quitting smoking. If you don’t know anyone who smokes, make a wager with a friend on that you can quit. Tell everyone you know you are quitting, their support and the responsibility that comes with your announcement will help you keep your word and stay cigarette free.
*Don’t set a quit day, rather quit on the day that cigarette taste particularly nasty. Every smoker undoubtedly has these days when cigarette taste awful. Of course following this advice alone most likely won’t make you quit, but you could combine different strategies together. For example, you start by cutting down on the cigarettes you smoke. Tell everyone you know you are quitting and go grab a nicotine gum at your local pharmacy. Wait until “the day” comes, it should be easy enough. As former smoker I know smokers live through nasty cigarette tasting days at least a couple of times a month. Just use it as another arsenal to combat your nicotine dependency, it’s as simple as that.
*Stop buying cigarettes by the carton or have spares at home. Force yourself to buy a new pack every time you run out of cigarettes making smoking very inconvenient for yourself. Smokers tend to smoke more than usual when they know they have stocked extra cigarettes through the roof.
*Ask your smoker friends to avoid smoking around you. If your friends object to the idea, try to stay away from them for about a month. It is imperative that you do not linger near cigarette smokes because for most people quitting smoking is hard enough as is.
*Avoid drinking at all cost. Many smokers can’t resist lighting one up with a cold one. You do not need to quit drinking forever, but try to avoid alcoholic beverages for two weeks. If you insist on drinking wine, beer, or whatever you are into, don’t drink them at bars and drink less than you normally would.
*Throw away all your smoking gear. From lighters to ashtrays to matches — toss everything you have in stock in case your lighter decides to give. Get rid of everything that has anything to do with aiding your smoking habit. For most smokers, quitting smoking will not come down to a single action enabling them to quit. For the most part, it’s the combination of strategies and their persistence that will end the addiction. Make the most out of all the information on how to quitting smoking and do not give up even if you fail on your first attempt. It does not matter how many attempts it takes, all it matters is that you quit smoking. Go Get’em!